Monday, February 15, 2010

Gratuitious Violence

After enlightening myself about the different forms in which patriarchal ideas of masculinity show themselves, the senseless killing of a yet another UCT student has taken place. The reason why I look toward this as an explanation is owed to the fact that none of the boys that were attacked were robbed or mugged of any of their possessions. In essence, the murder was gratuitous. Yet these are the ways in which our culture encourages men to exert their masculinity. This if course being a more extreme form but a violent one nevertheless. The key word here. Even in its most subtlest forms when boys are raised up identifying a violent nature with their masculinity, they only become more violent as a means of asserting this especially when insecurities about one's self occur. No, I am no psychologist. But it makes plenty of sense to me for one who feels, at their core inadequate or powerless to find external means of expressing power to overcompensate enough to temporarily remove feelings of weakness. Gang violence is a wonderful example of this model of behaviour. A socially-disadvantaged underclass inhabiting forgotten, poor and dilapidated parts of a city will turn to the use of guns and various other weapons to strike fear into the hearts of their community. As a means of elevating oneself from the pangs of powerlessness in a system that does not care and does not seek to care for you as an individual, as a human being.

Guns, a phallic symbol in a patriarchal world will continue to be the main form of communication that men utilize to enforce power over others until these false conceptions of manhood that have been drilled into all of us are removed.

My deepest condolences to the Giddy family.

R.I.P Dominic Joseph Giddy

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